Chapter 21 Part 3
Phil finished telling me what had happened on Saturday morning. He looked down at his feet, ashamed at his decision. Both of us were crying I couldn’t believe Bruno left because of me. He was trying to protect me, my family, and my youth. “I’m so sorry, sweetie.” Phil said, wiping his eyes. “It’s my fault he left but I was trying to do the right thing and protect you guys. He’s my best friend and I didn’t want to see him hurt. I also didn’t want to see you hurt either. I ju-,” I reached out and hugged him to make him shut up. I guess I surprised him because he didn’t move. I pulled out and smiled at his shocked face. “Uh, what was that for?” He asked, with a confused look on his face. “Now I do understand everything. At first I thought Bruno was just being selfish but now I know he left for me because that’s how much he loves me.” Phil smiled. “Bruno loves you like crazy.”
Then, I got an idea. “Excuse me, Phil.” He nodded while I took out my cell phone and went into the bedroom. I sat on the bed, grinning ear to ear. “Hey baby.” I said through the mouthpiece after the 2nd ring. “Oh wow it’s you! You caught me right before I am boarding my plane. Again, I’m sorry for everything.” “No Bruno, I’m sorry. Yeah, you should’ve explained why you left but now I understand. Phil is here at your apartment. He told me everything.” I had the biggest smile on my face. Just hearing his voice was so comforting. “I can get the next plane.” Bruno said, excitedly. “I can wait for you and we can say goodbye properly.” I hesitated. “I would love to, Bruno, but I think you should still board the plane. You probably paid extra for that ticket.” Deep down, I really wanted to see Bruno, but I knew I would have a hard time letting him go. I needed to take this chance to see if I can be strong. “No, no I can wait.” “Bruno, it’s ok. I’ll be ok.” I sighed. “We should start our break right now. All this back and forth stuff is just too much for us.” I could hear Bruno starting to cry. “I completely understand, baby. Can we start again when I come back?” I was starting to cry now. I reached over and grabbed Bruno’s pillow. I held it tight against my chest, imagining I was hugging Bruno.
I wanted to see him one last time. I wanted to hold him and keep him with me in LA but I couldn’t do that. We got this far and now it’s time to let go. “I don’t know, Bruno. I just need time to myself right now. I’m still hurt.” I was expecting Bruno to protest. “Well, okay baby.” Bruno said, sniffling and sounding very disappointed. “I know I deserve this. I completely understand.” “Bruno, I’m sorry.” I said. I could hear Bruno crying more. “So can we start again when I come back?” He asked while I quickly wiped my eyes. “Maybe.” Is all I said. “Well at least I got to hear your voice before I go.” It was so awkward. I felt bad. “I love you Bruno.” I can imagine Bruno smiling after hearing me say that. “I love you too. I love you more than you’ll ever know.” I smiled. “Can you send me a postcard?” I asked. “Sure!” Bruno said excitedly.
I heard the door creak and Phil walked into the bedroom. “Hey, sweetie, I have to let you go. My plane is boarding.” I held the phone closer to my ear. I didn’t want to let him go. “Thanks for doing this for me, Bruno.” I said. “I hope when you come back everything will be fine with us and my parents.” “Yeah, and I still need to find a way to tell my family.” Bruno said. I sighed. “I’m sorry Bruno. I do love you. I hope you don’t think of me as a bitch for this.” “No.” Bruno said sternly. “Don’t you ever talk like that about yourself. You are a beautiful and independent woman and I am the dumb one who put you through hell these past few days. I love you!” I hugged the pillow closer. “Bye Bruno.” I whispered. “Bye. I love you.” He whispered back. Then we hung up.
I put the phone to the side, buried my face into the pillow and sobbed. Phil sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulder. “I’m so sorry sweetie. I’m sorry.” Phil said, crying. I put my head on his shoulder and continued to cry.
I walked out of the apartment building and saw Katie in her car, with the windows up, singing along to the radio. I knocked on the window, which startled her. “Oh my gosh! You’ve been gone for almost an hour!” She exclaimed, while opening her car door. “I guess you had some good sex wi- PHIL?!” I turned around and Phil was behind me. I giggled. “No Katie! Phil just stopped by an-,” “But where’s Bruno?! Is he still at the airport? Girl get in the car! I’m sure we can catch him!” “No Katie.” I smiled sadly. “No, it’s ok.” Katie looked confused and sad. I told her what Phil had told me.
After I told Katie what happened, she quickly got out of the car and went psycho on Phil. “Dude?! Seriously?! How could you have done that to MY best friend?!” I was basically holding her back from kicking Phil’s ass. “Phil says he’s sorry! He knows what he did!” I yelled over the commotion. Phil kept stepping further back. “Look I’m sorry, believe me!” “Fine!” Katie said. She stopped struggling and got loose from my grasps. She got into the car. I looked at Phil and apologized for Katie’s behavior. Phil laughed. “You guys remind me of how Bruno and I have each others’ backs. It’s cool. She just needs to calm down and take it in.” We both looked at Katie, who was clutching the steering wheel with both hands and taking deep breaths. I laughed. “She’ll be okay.”
“What about you? Will you be okay?” Phil asked. “It’s going to take some time.” I shrugged. “A month is a really long time. August seems so far away.” Phil put his hand on my shoulder. “Only if you spend the month moping around. The time will go by super fast. Trust me.”
When I got home, I told mom what happened and she said she would make sure dad didn’t disturb me the rest of the day. I spent the rest of the day up in my room crying my eyes out until I fell asleep. On Tuesday, I went to work during my regular 11-4 shift. Carla gave me some duties that didn’t involve customer service. I guess she figured that I would want to be left alone. On Monday, Carla had lent me her makeup to cover up my hickey. Today, she asked if I needed it again. I looked in the mirror, and sadly, it begun to start fading. I declined and just left my hair down to cover it. I wanted to make the hickey last as long as I can. It was the only reminder of Bruno I had.
For Tuesday’s dinner, I sat with my parents for the first time since last week. I slowly ate my food quietly while my parents chatted about their day. I couldn’t finish the food. I only took about a few bites of everything but still had a plateful of food left over. I looked up at my parents, smiling and chatting while I was dying inside. My dad turned at me and smirked. “Wow, I see that love bite is fading fast!” He said. My eyes filled up with tears and I excused myself from the table. I ran up the steps to my room and collapsed on my bed, sobbing and crying for Bruno. I heard someone come up the stairs to my room. I kept my face in my pillow and continued to cry. “Dad didn’t mean to make you feel sad.” Mom said. “I just need alone time.” I said, lifting up my face from the pillow. She nodded and closed the door while I continued to weep. I ended up crying myself to sleep again.
The next morning, since it was my day off today, I had planned to spend my whole day in bed. I just felt so numb. I kept dreaming of Bruno’s face and his smile. I hope he dreamt of me too.
My body jerked when the doorbell rang. I opened my eyes and inch to check the time. It was almost 7 AM. I closed my eyes tight, hoping to fall back to sleep, but I was interrupted by a knock on my bedroom door. “Sweetie,” My mom said. “You have company.” She opened my curtains and the light of the sun was blinding me. “Please get up, they are waiting for you!” She walked out of the room and slammed the door behind her, I guess to wake me up more. I grunted and got out of the bed. I looked at myself in the mirror and tied my messy bed hair back.
I went downstairs and saw Katie, Jo, and Amy in the living room. My eyes filled with surprise when I saw them with Phil, Ari, and Brody. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Is everything okay?” Katie shrugged. “Phil called us yesterday to tell us the guys are going to take us somewhere today.” “Yeah,” Amy said. “He said it’s some sort of surprise.” Phil stood there beaming. “I thought I’ll make it up to you girls and especially you.” He pointed at me. “So you go up stairs and take a shower. I recommend shaving your legs and packing your bathing suit.” “We are going to the beach?” I asked excitably. Phil just shook his head. “I’m not telling any of you guys until you are ready!”
I went up to gather my stuff together and to prepare my shower. My mom decided to go into work late so she can make breakfast for us. “This will be good for you.” My mom said while I was packing in my room. “Bruno would want you to go out and have fun and not stay up in your room sad.” I just ignored her. If today was going to be a great day, I did not want his name to be brought up.
After my shower, I went downstairs and saw everyone already eating at the dining table. Mom kind of went overboard; there were waffles, sausages, eggs, bacons, and coffee and juices all around. I grabbed a plate and got minimal food as possible. My mom shook her head and grabbed my plate. “You didn’t eat your dinner last night so you are going to eat this morning.” She filled my plate up with the food and handed it to me. I sat between Phil and Katie, who saved the seat for me. “Don’t worry, we’ll make sure she eats.” Brody said, across the table. He kept eyeing me playfully while I ate. I smirked and gently kicked his leg underneath the table. “Dude, stop it! I’ll eat! I’ll eat!” Brody laughed.
“So where are you guys taking the girls?” My mom asked while refilling Ari’s coffee cup. Phil cleared his throat while we all stared at him. “Well, my cousin works for this really popular company, you guys may know it, Disney.” He took a bite of bacon, hesitating, while we groaned. “Just tell us!” We all said. Phil cleared his throat. “Well, he was so generous to give me some-,” He took a sip of his coffee while we groaned again. My mom was laughing at our reactions. “This is some good coffee.” Phil said, grinning. “Dude, tell us!” Katie yelled. “Oh he got me some tickets to Disneyland and that’s where we’re going today.” Phil said casually. We all streaked and jumped up from our chairs. “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” Katie exclaimed. Amy and Jo were holding hands and jumping up and down. I had the biggest smile on my face. I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was in middle school. Everyone was jumping up and high fiving one another. I reached over and hugged Phil. “That was so nice of you, Phil. Thanks.” Phil just smiled. “You’re welcome.”